‘Liberian Girl’, A Play by Diana Nneka Atuona (Video)

Between 1989 and 2003 the Civil War in Liberia saw over 200,000 people killed, a million others displaced into refugee camps, and over 15,000 children recruited into ‘Small Boys Units’. -Liberian Girl

‘Liberian Girl’ is a play by award-winning Nigerian-British playwright Playwright Diana Nneka Atuona. The play is a fictional adaptation based around the events of the Liberian Civil War that took place between 1989 and 2003.


The story focuses on protagonist Martha and her story of survival. Actress Juma Sharkah plays Martha, a character whose mother dresses her up as a boy to escape sexual violence. She is then captured and drafted into a child soldier regiment.

In a recent interview with ‘BBC Radio 4 Womens Hour‘, Atuona explains the importance of including scenes depicting the brutal violence of women and the exploitation of children. Some of the scenes were graphic in nature and the inclusion of standing audience members being pushed about by the actors, gave a candid portrayal of the activities that took place during Liberia’s Civil war. She explains, ‘There was no way of talking about the Liberian civil War without discussing it (sexual violence) . It was a massive part of the war…It has been difficult for people to watch – a lot of people have looked away’

The play has just finished a run at the Royal Court Theatre last month and is currently being shown around London (UK). Upcoming performances are as follows:

From February 3-7, 2015 CLF Art Cafe, Bussey Building, Peckham

From February 10-14, 2015 Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Tottenham

Image Source: Johan Persson (Facebook)

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